TED Conversations

Bernard White


This conversation is closed.

Can we ever design an experiment which can determine whether God exists?

I just find it hard to believe when people say : "There is no evidence for God". Yes there isn't because we can't design an experiment to prove or disprove this hypothesis.
However a very important thing, Which I devoted a whole TED Debate to (Here is the link to that debate : http://www.ted.com/conversations/17001/can_god_be_defined_or_in_othe.html), is that to work out whether the hypothesis is true we must first define what we mean by "God" (and "existence" for that matter), which I have found doesn't prove to be very successful. Otherwise we can't advance into going to making experiment for this hypothesis.
In science (I believe) theories can only be disproved and never proved to be "certain", so in this sense everybody has to be an agnostic about God, unless some genius in the TED community can come up with an experiment.
While another problem remains that we base all data we have on experimental data we have gained from the past, and expect the future to be consistent.

So in this sense I am a strong agnostic / Ignostic because God hasn't really been defined (and only has subjective definitions) and that I can't genially think of an experiment to determine whether God exist of not. So yes in the literal sense there is no "evidence" but that's only because no experiment have been done.
(Also there remains the slight problem with the fact that there is a degree of uncertainness in everything, and that no matter how logical and rational a hypothesis may seem it can always be proved false, or untrue)

My final point would be I see no correlation with an absence of evidence, and an evidence of absence! (This is very important)

And of-course, I apologize for repeating myself (if I have done so!) and my awful spelling and grammar.
Just so I say now, so I get no confusion, this is just an honest enquiry as to whether it can be done! (Not trying to reduce "God" in any way!)


Closing Statement from Bernard White

I'm slightly worreid I won't do a good job of this summary but here I go :

I must first say this :
I implore everybody to look at my "new" God debate :
What does the theological implications do the "Psychology" and "Neuroscience" (and possibly biology) of religion/ "God(s)" have?
Link : http://www.ted.com/conversations/18226/what_does_the_theological_impl.html

This has been a wonderful debate with lots of interesting idea's. However I view, with the majority consensus, (and please correct me if I have got this wrong) that there isn't a experiment which can (dis)prove the existence of "God(s)".
I would just like to congratulate everybody for their amazing contributions to the conversation. It has given me a lot to ponder.
Kind regards (to all),

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Apr 21 2013: So Moses and his followers fleeing from capivity and the Pharaoh's soldiers were camped at Pi-hahiroth next to the Red Sea. They had word that their where-a-bouts had been discovered and with nowhere left to run Moses appeals to God for help. God tells Moses to gather his followers to the waters edge and then to ' lift thou up thy rod and stretch out thine hand over the sea,and divide it'. So Moses did what he was told and the Red Sea parted and Moses and his followers escape. A scientist who witnessed the whole episode was recounting his experience that night to his wife
    ' . . . and Moses stuck out his hand and the sea parted and they all escaped across a dry river bed and then the sea closed and all the soldiers drowned. I must go and take some measurements tomorrow and work out how that happened' he said. ' I have a theory that strong east wind that was blowing all night had something to do with it'.

    My point is this. You will never find God at the end of a ruler. There are no experiments to prove God exists. People of faith and people of science both see the same universe. For instance, if I didn't know St Thomas Aquinas was talking about God the creator. you could mistakenly believe he was describing the big bang! I think there are more pressing problems in this world then trying to determine whether there is a God or not. And either way I still have to get up in the morning and do a bit.
    • thumb
      Apr 21 2013: Seems you don't find gods or goddesses anywhere except as speculative cultural concepts.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.